Kensington is often seen as a destination for posh, expensive bars, but actually there is just as much variety as anywhere else in the capital. Here are some of the best watering holes to take your friends this summer, from theatre bars to detective agencies.
House of Dirty Bones
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
Dirty Bones' trendy interior | Courtesy of House of Dirty Bones
As the name suggests, this is far from your typical Kensington bar. The House of Dirty Bones is incredibly decorative, with lights and neon signs jumping out at you from every direction. There is a really friendly and chill vibe that accompanies the trendy cocktails and beers on offer. Also, if you feel peckish, it would be a crime not to try their outrageous Mac Daddy burger filled with mac n’ cheese and pulled pork.
For the most relaxed yet sophisticated evening in South London, take a trip to this dark, atmospheric piano bar on Kensington High Street. There is a different pianist playing almost every evening, and combined with the excellent range of whiskies on offer, you will sink into their pristine leather armchairs with a warm grin on your face. There is also a fine restaurant available to balance out the strong drinks.
Eclipse is a small, dark bar on a corner of Gloucester Road that has a small patch of artificial grass outside to embrace the occasional London sunshine. It isn’t the trendy décor inside the bar, or outlandish music that makes this place a good spot; it’s the quality and size of their cocktails. Their sharp staff give you time to explore the expansive menu and pick any of the colorful cocktails, which are served in proper portions and well-executed.
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Ever wanted to have a drink in the basement of the Royal Albert Hall? Berry Bros and Rudd No. 3 bar is open prior to and after evening shows, so basically every night. It maintains an extreme range of spirits, wines and cocktails, making it a perfect spot to swirl a tumbler of well-aged whiskey or fine sherry. Their dim lighting and suave furniture creates an interesting and sophisticated atmosphere.
Arguably the most secretive and interesting bar on this list is the Evans and Peel Detective Agency near Earl’s Court. It is also easily the most decorative bar in South London, with intricate glass carbonates and bookcases in every corner, creating a Sherlock Homes impression. Because of the bar’s booking system, you’ll feel like a detective when you eventually get a seat.
The Kensington houses The K Bar, which fits in seamlessly in its elegant, chic and exclusive environment. Inspired by noble, traditional gentlemen’s clubs, the K Bar awaits with oak-panelled walls and ceilings, alongside a large selection of the finest wines, aperitifs and beers. One of the menu’s highlights is of course the dessert cocktails.